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|Richard and Sue Knight
Custard Cream Review
|Hi Nicey & Wifey|
I just wanted to tell you about the 'biscuit club' we hold on a Friday evening in the snug at The Horse & Groom pub in Linby, nr Nottingham. It all started about 9 months ago when my wife accidentally told one of the other snugglers (snug regulars) that I had once created a spoof website dedicated to Custard Creams (my favourite biscuits). Incidentally, it was whilst researching for this website, about 7 years ago, that I first came across your own fabulous website which has gone from strength to strength.
Said snuggler arrived one Friday evening and as he walked in, threw a large packet of Sainsbury's custard creams at me, fortunately the alcohol had sharpened my senses and I was able to catch the packet of biscuits and prevent any major damage from befalling them.
I found myself to be the centre of attention at this point and had to explain to the assembled masses exactly what you could put on a 'custard cream' website. I told them about the fun our group, who became nicknamed "The Biscuit Boys", had at work, trying the huge variety of different makes, and in particular finding out about the 'other' uses for custard creams such as building blocks, dominoes, skittles etc and about how you could make useful articles such as a tea pot stand from said biscuits.
The evening finished with the landlord of the establishment rolling a barrel shaped measure off the bar onto a table below and trying to knock down as many of the biscuit 'skittles' as he could. For some unknown reason it was decided that we should form a biscuit club and somehow I ended up as chairman or "chair biscuit" as I prefer to be known.
Since then we have had over 30 meetings where we bring along assorted packets of biscuits which we all try and then vote on our favourite which is declared biscuit of the week. We have also had a few 'special' evenings including a cheese night, a cold cooked meats night and a sausage night and we are planning a "Puddings you can eat with custard" night in the near future.
One of the highlights of our evenings had been the ongoing saga of the Jaffa Cake which has led to many alcohol fuelled discussions taking place, but for me the absolute crowning glory was when the wife and I walked in one Friday evening to find everyone eagerly awaiting us as the Landlady had a presentation to make. Imagine my delight when I was presented with a copy of your excellent book which they had come across whilst on holiday. This tome has become the club bible and is called upon (usually without any great success) to settle any arguments over the provenance of any particular item brought along as a 'Biscuit'.
Although I had told the other members about your website I had not visited for quite some time but have now renewed my acquaintance with it and as you may see, signed up for the newsletter. I am now wondering if you would like to put a feature about our 'Biscuit Club' on your website to encourage other biscuit aficionados to form similar groups and would be willing to provide any information, pictures etc to facilitate this. Or maybe you could even start a sister site, "A Nice Pint of Beer, a Sit Down and a Biscuit". Maybe CAMRA would be interested in some sort of sponsorship deal.
Keep up the good work.
Richard & Sue Knight
|Nicey replies: Hi Richard & Sue Knight,
I'm very pleased that we have contributed in some way to your very civilised sounding biscuit and booze rituals, even if we haven't sorted out your disputes.
As for News Letters we haven't done one in forever, but since then I have created a new and mighty newsletter engine for the day job and have been toying with the idea of firing it up on NCOTAASD so you never know!
||Dear Nicey & Wifey,|
I read with interest your report on the decline of the good old fashioned pudding. I'd like to propose another reason why we're not seeing so many these days. It's because traditional 'puds' are being advertised with "crème anglaise" these days rather than custard. Apparently crème anglaise is in fact custard so please don't be alarmed and put off eating a proper hot pud by those pesky European phrases.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I was a little surprised to read about the decline in the traditional pudding, particularly as the weather is beginning to turn.
There are no such issues in my household with a proper steamed pudding and custard on the menu at least once a week.
I think that the problem may be due in part to the rise in dieting programs and the belief that eating puddings makes you fat.
I would just like to point out to people who hold this view that if you did a bit more exercise you could eat as many puddings as you like.
I myself am rather too partial to a bit of cake with my cup of tea. When my waistline began to spread, I just bought myself a bike with the result that I now need to eat even more cake in order to keep my weight up!
|Nicey replies: Indeed, after our trip to the gym this morning Wifey and I were able to come home and polish off the last of the Christmas cake which didn't fit into the tin and had to baked in its own little tin. This must have offset the 400 calories that the machines at the gym told me I had expended. After which I was fortified enough to go down the shed and mend the back wheel of my road bike which had a nasty blow out over the weekend. All a matter of cake life balance.|
||Dear Nicey & Wifey|
When I read your news bulletin about the low consumption of apple crumble (and of course custard) I was shocked and stunned. I love to make a fruit crumble at least once a month!
Here is a handy tip to make crumble making easy peasy and quick too: make up bags of crumble mixture in 500g amounts and freeze it. I like to use a third fat to flour with 2-3 tbsps of sugar. When you want a super quick crumble take a tin of fruit in own juice (apple, pear, even pineapple works), or light syrup and pour into a deep baking dish and sprinkle some of the crumble mixture over the fruit. You do not need to defrost the crumble mixture first. Bung in a preheated oven (with foil cover if you are prone to burning things!), and bake for about 20-30 minutes. And of course serve pipping hot with plenty of custard!
|Nicey replies: Marge,
We like your 'can do' attitude to puddings.
|Kate and Mike
My friend and I are currently using your website for research for a uni IT project. We were most concerned as we couldn't work out if Weetabix is a biscuit or not?! My friend eats it dry with butter on... does this make it a biscuit? HELP! Many thanks,
Kate and Mike x
|Nicey replies: Kate and Mike,
Very much one for the biscuit Venn Diagram. There has always been a element of flirting between the two camps of breakfast cereals and and biscuits. The farley's rusk for example likes nothing better than a good dousing of milk and mashing up with a spoon whilst Nestle have the cookie crisp cereal which emulates small bite sized choc-chip cookies. I would happily place the Weetabix in the union of breakfast cereals and biscuits albeit way over on the cereal edge for the following reasons.
1) It somewhat troublesomely describes itself as a biscuit due no doubt to its form factor and little else
2) That's it really
Don't be drawn into those tied old arguments about what goes stale and how as these are all merely circumstantial evidence and not un-yeilding and absolute laws.
We once did a project at university where we left some horse manure under an ultraviolet lamp in a cupboard for a week then looked at it closely. I hope your project is at least as important.